Chapter 8: Indian Empires New Arrivals in South Asia

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1 Chapter 8: Indian Empires New Arrivals in South Asia The Spread of Aryan Settlement Aryans are named for their use of Sanskrit and other languages included in the Indo-Aryan family of languages Arrived in waves from either central Asia or the Iranian plateau, mixed with local people and moved eastward to the Ganges by 1000 B.C.E.

2 New Arrivals in South Asia Written Texts The Vedas Earliest source is the Rigveda, one of the four Vedas composed B.C.E., just as Aryans moved onto the Indian subcontinent Other writings include Brahmanas (religious ritual) and Upanishads (mystical speculations) Puranas are folk tales that bring the Aryan gods into the popular imagination

3 New Arrivals in South Asia The Establishment of States Aryan settlements (janapadas) emerged B.C.E., centered on specific family lineages Evolved into republics or monarchies By 300 B.C.E., four states dominated the region Dynasty led by Chandragupta Maurya of Magadha started India s first empire in the aftermath of the retreat of Alexander the Great

4

5 Chandragupta: 321 BCE-298 BCE Unified northern India. Defeated the Persian general Seleucus. Divided his empire into provinces, then districts for tax assessments and law enforcement. He feared assassination [like Saddam Hussein] food tasters, slept in different rooms, etc. Gave up his throne & became a Jain.

6 The Empires of India The Maurya Empire Government under the Maurya Dynasty State power superceded family lineages Task of government was to promote four Hindu goals of artha, kama, dharma, and moksha Defined rules of behavior for males and females Regulated caste system, religious establishments, and guilds

7 The Maurya Empire 321 BCE 185 BCE

8 Kautilya Chandragupta s advisor. Brahmin caste. Wrote The Treatise on Material Gain or the Arthashastra. A guide for the king and his ministers: Supports royal power. The great evil in society is anarchy. Therefore, a single authority is needed to employ force when necessary!

9 Asoka ( BCE) Religious conversion after the gruesome battle of Kalinga in 262 BCE. Dedicated his life to Buddhism. Built extensive roads. Conflict how to balance Kautilya s methods of keeping power and Buddha s demands to become a selfless person?

10 The Empires of India The Maurya Empire [cont.] Asoka, India s Buddhist Emperor Converted to Buddhism and sent missionaries throughout his realm and beyond Brought thirty years of peace to region, a universalist ethic toward nomads settling into agricultural life, and reduced importance of Brahmin castes (an action that pleased merchant castes)

11 Asoka s Empire

12 Asoka s law code Edicts scattered in more than 30 places in India, Nepal, Pakistan, & Afghanistan. Written mostly in Sanskrit, but one was in Greek and Aramaic. 10 rock edicts. Each pillar [stupa] is high. Buddhist principles dominate his laws.

13 One of Asoka s Stupas

14 Women Under an Asoka tree

15 The Empires of India The Maurya Empire [cont.] Successor States Divide the Empire No emperor strong enough to maintain Mauryan empire after Asoka s death (238 B.C.E.)

16 Turmoil & a power Vacuum: 220 BCE 320 CE The Maurya Empire is divided into many kingdoms.

17 Gupta Empire: 320 CE 647 CE

18 Gupta Rulers Chandra Gupta I r CE Great King of Kings Chandra Gupta II r CE Profitable trade with the Mediterranean world!

19 The Empires of India The Gupta Empire Established 320 C.E. by Chandra Gupta I Son Samudra Gupta conquered areas on the southern, eastern, and northern parts of India Samudra s son, Chandra Gupta II (r ), spread power westward Guptas ruled most of their empire indirectly, demanding only tribute; exercised direct rule over a small area

20 The Empires of India The Gupta Empire [cont.] A Golden Age of Learning Promoted use of Sanskrit and revival of Hinduism Literature preserved in oral tradition written down Empire used Sanskrit for administration Powerful local leaders promoted arts and education Buddhist scholars from China are a source of knowledge about this cultural flowering

21 The Empires of India The Gupta Empire [cont.] The Resurgence of Hinduism Major Hindu philosophies such as the Vedanta emerged Caste system was elaborated and enforced in more detail Hinduism surpassed Buddhism as Hindu (Brahmin) priests took over presentation of Buddhist rituals Power of Gupta wanes in late 5th century C.E. and India remains divided today

22 Fa-Hsien: Life in Gupta India Chinese Buddhist monk traveled along the Silk Road and visited India in the 5c. He was following the path of the Buddha. He reported the people to be happy, relatively free of government oppression, and inclined towards courtesy and charity. Other references in the journal, however, indicate that the caste system was rapidly assuming its basic features, including "untouchability," the social isolation of a lowest class that is doomed to menial labor.

23 Chandra Gupta II

24 International Trade Routes during the Guptas

25 Extensive Trade: 4c spices gold & ivory

26 Kalidasa The greatest of Indian poets. His most famous play was Shakuntala. During the reign of Chandra Gupta II.

27 Gupta Art Greatly influenced Southeast Asian art & architecture.

28 500 healing plants identified 1000 diseases classified Printed medicinal guides Kalidasa Gupta Achievements Plastic Surgery Medicine Literature C-sections performed Inoculations Gupta India Solar Calendar Decimal System Concept of Zero Mathematics PI = Astronomy The earth is round

29 The Decline of the Guptas Invasion of the White Huns in the 4c signaled the end of the Gupta Golden Age, even though at first, the Guptas defeated them. After the decline of the Gupta empire, north India broke into a number of separate Hindu kingdoms and was not really unified again until the coming of the Muslims in the 7c.

30 Invasions End Age of Empires Introduction Hunas followed earlier invasions by Shakas (94 B.C.E.) and Kushanas (c. 50 C.E.) as part of the domino effect in Central Asia Are the same people as the Huns who invaded Rome in mid-400s C.E.

31 Invasions End Age of Empires The Hunas and Their Legacy Huna incursion in northwest India disrupted trade from 460 C.E. onward, weakening Guptas From 500 C.E., Gupta control dissolved into a world of regional strongmen and Huna invaders Legacies include increased access to India from more outside groups, and the destruction of urban culture of the northwest

32 Bhartrhari 5c India court poet and philosopher. Knowledge is man's crowning mark, A treasure secretly buried, The source of luxury, fame, and bliss, A guru most venerable, A friend on foreign journeys, The pinnacle of divinity. Knowledge is valued by kings beyond wealth--- When he lacks it, a man is a brute.

33 Invasions End Age of Empires Regional Diversity and Power Indian history is described from Ganges Valley, center of Aryan, Maurya, Gupta, Moghuls, and British--conceals diversity of India Regional diversity the product of migrations Indigenous tribal people known as adivasis Far south is most distinct region Cultural continuities, not political control, ties India together

34 Invasions End Age of Empires Sea Trade and Cultural Influence Influence extended from Rome to Southeast Asia Influence of Ganges Valley powers tied to overland trade Coastal regions used sea trade to extend Indian culture far to the east and west

35 Invasions End Age of Empires Southeast Asia: Greater India Asoka sent Buddhist missionaries to Sri Lanka and Myanmar (start of extended Indian influence, 3rd century B.C.E.) Funan, port at tip of Vietnam, was center of Indian influence in southeast Indian culture spread from Funan to others including Java and Sumatra Military had secondary role in diffusing culture

36 India, China, and Rome Comparisons Important to compare from bottom up by looking at intermediate institutions which were local but connected empire to people and people to empire Sources for the three empires Are not directly comparable--each empire produced different kinds of records

37 Invasions End Age of Empires Administration China and Rome developed bureaucracies while India continued to rely on family lineage International Relations India not gentle with defeated states Followed Artha-sastra law of the fish Internal Indian revolts rare because there were many neighboring havens from Indian rule

38 Invasions End Age of Empires Invasion of the Hunas India exported culture but not control beyond limits of subcontinent Hunas affect all three empires in 3rd-6th centuries Local Institutions and the State Rome and China touched subjects directly India worked with pre-existing local institutions Families, castes, guilds, religious sects

39 What Difference Do They Make? Modern India is direct descendent of this period in terms of diversity and patterns of government India is example of empire that integrates and balances local forms of organization India could be brutal but did tend to incorporate rather than defeat local people

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